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The 3 Best Cheap Projectors Under $100

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If you want a cinematic experience in the comfort of your own home or backyard, you don't need to spend a fortune. The best cheap projectors under $100 provide some of the same core features as more expensive models — like the ability to watch movies in 1080p HD, connect to multiple devices, and adjust the image with keystone correction (which allows you to skew the output image to ensure the correct proportions) — all for much less.

When you’re shopping around for an inexpensive projector, try to consider exactly how you’ll be using it and where. The brighter the light in your space or the larger your screen size, the greater number of lumens you’ll need. The average projector can offer 1,000 to 2,500 lumens, which is bright enough for a modestly sized room with ambient light on and for screens up to 140 inches and rooms. For larger projections or rooms with more light, you may want an even brighter output. If you're really concerned about brightness, you can always maximize light output by projecting on to a light-rejection screen.

Compatibility is also an essential factor. With inexpensive models, you often need another device to stream from, like your laptop, gaming console, or smartphone. Make sure that your projector will be able to connect to your device. Look for connection compatibility with HDMI, USB, VGA, TF, AV, and TV sticks like Chromecast or Amazon Fire Stick.

With all that in mind, here’s my roundup of the best cheap projectors you can get for that perfect movie night.

1
The Overall Best Cheap Projector
  • Brightness: 3,800 lumens
  • Compatibility: HDMI, SD, Micro SD, VGA, RCA AV, and USB

With 3,800 lumens, the APEMAN mini projector is bright enough to use indoors or out. The budget-friendly projector supports 1080p HD support for clear picture quality, and can project a screen size up to 180 inches. It has a recommended projection distance between 5 and 8 feet. The dual built-in speaker provides loud sound, but you also have the option of connecting your external speakers too. You can connect this projector to HDMI, VGA, USB, Micro SD, RCA AV inputs to stream from PC, laptops, game consoles, or even smartphones with a lightning to HDMI adapter. It’s compatible with Fire TV Stick and Chromecast, too. It's a great choice for basic movie-watching in a variety of settings.

According to a fan: “I was looking for a budget-friendly projector for outdoor movie nights, and I couldn't be more pleased with this purchase. The picture quality is excellent for such an inexpensive projector. The tiny size makes it easy to pack up and move from room to room, or in my case outside. Its bright picture is crystal clear, and the colors are vibrant! The other thing that shocked me was how great the speakers sounded.”

2
A Super Bright Projector That's Great For Outdoor Use
  • Brightness: 4,500 lumens
  • Compatibility: HDMI, AV, TF Cards, and USB

The Crenova mini projector is the brightest projector on this list at 4,500 lumens, which makes it especially great for outdoor viewing, when you tend to have less control over ambient light. As far as projectors go, it's also a portable and lightweight option. It only weighs 2.6 pounds and is easy to fit in your bag to take to a party or use during a trip. It supports up to 1080p HD video with a movie projector screen size up to 200 inches in size.

This mini projector also includes a remote control that allows you to make adjustments quickly without having to get up — especially ideal since the suggested viewing distance is 7 feet. Its HiFi stereo speaker delivers ample sound, but you can add your external speakers for louder sound via its 3.5mm output jack. This projector is compatible with HDMI, VGA, USB, AV, TF Cards, and TV Sticks so that you can stream from your laptop or smartphone. However, it doesn’t come with the HDMI or USB cables needed. Smartphone connection also requires an additional lightning to HDMI adapter. This projector is available in three colors, and you can pay $15 more to get a carrying case for it. It comes with a 36-month risk-free warranty.

According to a fan: “This is so easy to use! Just plug and play, really. Great picture quality and a nice compact size. It has a remote so you can control it from a comfortable seat. We use it in the backyard and just play movies from the fire stick straight against the wall of the house. [...] Love it!"

3
A Cheap Projector You Can Fit In Your Pocket
  • Brightness: 600 lumens
  • Compatibility: HDMI, USB, Micro SD Card, and AV

This super compact ARTlii projector weighs just over half a pound and is only 4.88 by 3.27 by 1.81 inches in size, making it incredibly easy to take anywhere and everywhere. You can even charge it using a power bank, which means you don't even need to be near an outlet to use it. The brightness leaves something to be desired, with only 600 lumens of light, but for the price and the size, it's not bad. Just make sure you use it in a very dark setting for optimum viewing. While this projector does have built-in speakers, Amazon reviewers recommend connecting it to external speakers for better sound.

The mini projector can connect to devices using HDMI, USB, Micro SD Card, and AV interfaces, among others, which means you can connect to everything from laptops to TV sticks to smart phones (though you'll have to separately purchase a lightening to HDMI cable to connect to a phone). Though the projector is small, it can project an image up to 60 inches in size. According to Amazon reviewers, the picture looks better from a bit of a distance — preferably a minimum of 5 feet. It supports a resolution up to 1080p. Nab it in a black or yellow color, and rest easy knowing that the device comes with a 1-month money-back guarantee and a 1-year factory policy.